Eddie Van Halen, 64, 'battling throat cancer after years of sucking on his metal guitar pick'

GUITARIST Eddie Van Halen is battling throat cancer which he believes he contracted after years of sucking on his metal guitar pick.

The rocker, 64, has been making regular visits to Germany from the US over the last five years for treatment, according to sources in the US.

He was a heavy smoker but he thinks the cancer could be the result of holding the plectrum in his mouth while on stage.

Eddie, widely considered to be one of the finest musicians of his generation, was diagnosed with cancer in 2000 and had a third of his tongue removed but was given the all-clear in 2002.

But his current treatment is said to be keeping the disease "in check", celebrity website TMZ reported.

Speaking in 2015, when Van Halen last performed as a group, he said: "I used metal picks – they're brass and copper – which I always held in my mouth, in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer.

"Plus, I basically live in a recording studio that's filled with electromagnetic energy. So that’s one theory.

"I mean, I was smoking and doing a lot of drugs and a lot of everything.

"But at the same time, my lungs are totally clear. This is just my own theory, but the doctors say it’s possible."

Van Halen released their self-titled debut album in 1978 and became one of the most influential rock bands of the 1980s, selling an estimated 75 million albums worldwide.

The band were best known for hits including Jump and Why Can't This Be Love.

They last performed in October 2015 at LA's Hollywood Bowl.

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